Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

April 19, 2012 09:52 ET

CIU Exposes CBSA Management Squandering Taxpayer Money While the Harper Government Cuts Front Line Positions

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 19, 2012) - In a shocking display of hypocrisy, CBSA senior management has been exposed disobeying cost savings directives in the recent Budget by flying in managers from across Canada to a luxury hotel in Montreal for a secret three day 'meeting' at costs estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On April 17, CIU National President Jean Pierre Fortin led a team of elected union leaders to crash CBSA management's cushy get together of some 250 senior managers where they were confronted about their double standard when it came to cutting spending.

"We told them they ought to be ashamed themselves for their expensive and wasteful self-indulgence at a time when front line officers positions are being cut and Canadian border security services for Canadians are being compromised. CBSA management is spending money on itself while the cuts it recommended are compromising national security. What happened to Mr. Harper's message of putting an end to this kind of waste by arranging video conferences rather than junkets? Maybe CBSA didn't get the memo or maybe Canadians are being misled about what this Government is actually doing."

Jean-Pierre Fortin confirmed that the union has filed an Access to Information request to determine exactly how much has been wasted on this latest CBSA extravaganza and challenged the Harper government to explain CBSA's actions.

"Was this meeting approved by the Minister? Was he even aware of it in light of the Budget cuts and directions to reduce spending? Is this what the Harper Government thinks are the right spending priorities for CBSA and Canadians?"

"I'm proud of our members and our union for exposing this hypocrisy and for challenging the Government on their increasingly counterproductive priorities when it comes to the safety and security of Canadians. Somehow they have lost their way and are making the wrong choices as this expensive event demonstrates. Canadians and the front line officers that serve them deserve better than this and the Harper Government needs to rethink the front line cuts CBSA sold them on."

The Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) is a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents Canada's Front-Line Customs and Immigration Officers. CIU also represents Investigation, Intelligence and Trade Customs Officers, Immigration Inland Enforcement and Hearings Officers, as well as all support staff - all of whom work at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

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